"Mum help me, he's trying to strangle me."

Those were the words a woman screamed when her cellphone was wrestled away from her by Robert Kells Meyer at a property in Whanganui in June.

Meyer was sentenced to 12 months' supervision and 80 hours' community work by Judge Philip Crayton in Whanganui District Court last week.

He was convicted of common assault and contravening a protection order.


Police prosecutor Stephen Butler told the court an argument broke out between the defendant and the victim on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

"Later, the victim asked the defendant to take her to the hospital as she was feeling unwell, but he refused to do so, leaving her upstairs for a short period of time.

"The victim was ringing her mother, asking her to come and pick her up when the defendant approached telling the victim she must have been dropped on her head.

"The victim tried to ignore the defendant and continued to talk to her mother on the phone, but the defendant wrestled the phone off the victim, who began screaming."

Meyer then pushed the victim down and held her there, before placing a hand across her throat.

She screamed to her mother for help and the victim's mother informed Meyer that she was going to call the police.

"Go ahead," Meyer said.

Soon after, he was arrested.


Defence lawyer Stephen Ross said that Meyer had a modest history of offending, none of which was similar to this.

"The background is that the defendant has a child with the victim's sister from a previous relationship that does clearly cause issues," Ross said.

"The victim and the defendant have separated and the defendant now understands the victim lives out of town.

"He has been working for six months, he works on a dairy farm out the back of Marton and it is a full time position."

Judge Crayton said that any family violence that occurs within the family home is treated seriously by the court.

"Any violence to someone in their own home is violence to someone who is vulnerable and anyone who is subject to a protection order deserves protection of the court," he said.

"The message needs to be clearly understood that protection orders are there to be complied with.

"Any violence directed at the neck or throat area of a victim is at a level, which even if it's charged as common assault, cannot be downplayed."

Judge Crayton then delivered his sentence before leaving Meyer with a statement.

"You need to heed this opportunity. Any further family violence will see you back before the court and likely going to prison."